Three times Hemel Town took the lead at Chelmsford City on Saturday in a battle between the fifth- and sixth-placed clubs but on each occasion the hosts replied as this thrilling encounter ended in a 3-3 draw.
Although it’s perhaps tempting to see the result as two points dropped, The Tudors actually managed to move up a place in the National League South standings after gaining a point while fellow playoffs hopefuls St Albans, Truro City and Braintree all lost.
Hemel and Chelmsford had met at Vauxhall Road just three weeks ago with The Tudors coming out on top on that occasion 3-1.
They scored three again on Saturday but the defence shipped three of their own and have now conceded eight goals in their last trio of outings in what is now a three-game winless run.
Hemel striker David Moyo put the visitors ahead in the 26th minute when he rose highest in the area to head against the crossbar and then in for his third goal of the season and first since a brace against local rivals St Albans on New Year’s Day.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to level. Just four minutes’ later Christopher Dickson replied for City by racing onto a loose ball and firing beyond Hemel keeper Dillon Barnes, deputising today for the suspended Laurie Walker.
The flurry of goal action continued another four minutes after that when Spencer McCall put Hemel back in front. He sent a shot towards goal from range which appeared to be going wide but snuck in at the far post for the midfielder’s sixth goal of the campaign since joining the Tudors in October.
Again, Hemel couldn’t keep the lead and City equalised on 38 minutes. It was former Hemel midfielder Taylor Miles, who had made 11 appearances for the Tudors this season before departing for Chelmesford last month, who set-up the leveller from a corner which was met by Anthony Church’s header.
The visitors has a golden chance to retake the lead just minutes into the second-half when a left-wing free-kick bounced in the box but debutant Karl Oliyide was unable to divert the ball home.
There was another chance for Oliyide on 49 minutes but he curled his effort wide.
For the third time of the afternoon The Tudors then got their noses in front when a trademark Jordan Parkes curled free-kick delivery into the box found the head of defender Ismail Yakubu after City keeper Jake Jessup come out to punch the ball but missed it.
The hosts had a good chance to score with 15 minutes to go when Craig Braham-Barrett beat a defender but his final shot was weak and held by Barnes.
Minutes later Chelmesford switched into a 3-5-2 line-up, with Braham-Barrett pushed further forward into a left wing-back role.
And just six minutes later substitute Daniel Green levelled for City in the 85th minute when he cut inside and struck a shot well past Barnes.
Next up for Hemel is another upper-tier clash when they host second-ranked Havant & Waterlooville at Vauxhall Road next Saturday. The two sides last faced off on November 11 when a Jordan Parkes penalty salvaged a point.
Hemel vs Chelmsford: Dillon Barnes, Joe Howe, Kyle Connolly, Jordan Parkes (captain), Dan Spence, Ismail Yakubu (82, Alex Osborn), Matt Spring, Scotty Shulton (64, Darren Ward), David Moyo (72, Will Hoskins), Karl Oliyide, Spencer McCall. Subs not used: Ebby Nelson-Addy and George Paulin.